Yikes! Diesel $4.50/gallon

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Interesting, this is why people from the US are such an enigma. By and large many don't appear to be capable of putting two and two together and deduce
the obvious. See, for example, the US's (ie the present administrations) claim re Iraq and the nigh on unamious acceptance of their claim by the people .... regardless what other countries, the UN etc had to say. Then Tom comes along and has his finger on the pulse ..... there is hope
cheers, guenter

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On May 5, 8:42 pm, snipped-for-privacy@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (Guenter Scholz) wrote:

First, there is no question at all that Iraq at one point did in fact have WMDs and that they had actually used them on numerous occasions. Just prior to the Iraq war, not only did US intelligence believe they still had WMDs and were continuing to try to reconstitute more WMD programs, but so did British, Russian and Israeli intelligence.
Now, let's look at this in a balanced perspective. Has intelligence ever been anywhere near 100%? It's virtually impossible for a foreign govt to know for sure exactly what is going on when a country engages in projects they are trying to keep secret. Was it even up to the rest of the world to have to figure out what was going on in Iraq? The answer is no. Iraq had invaded Kuwait and part of the cease fire agreement that ended that agression that was internationally condemned was a provision that provided Iraq must account for all their WMDs, end their programs, come clean with the world. They were required to allow full and open inspections by the UN weapons inspectors.
For years they played cat and mouse games with the inspectors, kicking them out of the country, denying them access to key facilities, refusing to produce witnesses, etc. On the eve of the Iraq war, in his final report, UN weapons inspector Hans Blix clearly stated that the Iraqis were still not fully cooperating with the UN weapons inspectors and consequently there was much that could not be documented as to the status of WMDs. It was not the job of any intelligence service to guess what was going on. What was required was for Iraq to fully disclose and cooperate so the UN could ascertain for sure. And keep in mind that this was with 300,000 international troops massed on Iraqs borders ready to invade if full cooperation was not forthcoming. Had Iraq not been invaded, Saddam would have simply continued to play his games and the troops that were staged and ready could not stay there indefinitely.
The same crowd that is bitching about Iraq and no WMDs would instead be demanding Bush's resignation had he done nothing and then it turned out Iraq did produce WMDs that were later used. The line of argument would be that Iraq was not complying with the UN resolutions, not allowing full inspections, that US, British, Russian, Israeli intelligence all said they were in various stages of continuing to try to make WMDs, so how could Bush be so stupid? It's easy being a Monday morning quarterback.
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heav turned on the Etch-A-Sketch and wrote:

This *is* usenet.
What else do you expect?
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__________________________________________ Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
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Spoken like a true republican. Religious slander, hate, and violence abound.
The Republican Party-where hate is a family value.
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I realize that Bruce is not a republican, but this stinks of a republican view.

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Another outrageous and disgusting statement, taking this whole thing eactly where the likes of Bruce want it to go. I'd like to see where the Republicans in any significant, sanctioned or organized way engage in religious slander, hate, or violence. It's simply untrue. I'm a Republican and found Bruce's statements equally offensive.
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I guess gasoline was cheaper in Kalamazoo at times than the national average. We moved to western Montana in 1973 from Kalamazoo, and the price of gas at the little general store on the highway was 36.9, which seemed high, and it was there that my wife, who was working at a local cafe, started hearing that gas was going to go to $1 a gallon!
Gold was $35 an ounce until around that time too. As you know, it's over $1000 an ounce now.
So we probably should be framing this discussion in terms of the value of the dollar. I think the total U.S. indebtedness right now is something like $49 trillion, up from $11 trillion at the start of Reaganism, so crank up the printing presses and launch the helicopters! Was it Bernanke who suggested we could avoid a repeat of the Depression by dropping bales of cash from helicopters to make sure the economy kept afloat?
They better use semi trailers or print large bills if they want to distribute $49 trillion. Or maybe boxcars. I personally would prefer electronic direct deposit, in case you're listening Big Brother.
I just ordered "Bad Money" by Kevin Phillips yesterday. It's an analysis of how the books have been cooked to overestimate growth and underestimate inflation for so long that you just can't trust the numbers. He argues that Social Security checks are 70% less than they should be because of manipulations like taking food, fuel and housing out of the inflation calculations.
When you remove fuel, housing and food from the inflation figures and they skyrocket, it distorts growth numbers, so you can have negative growth in reality but "no recession" officially. That seems to be the situation we are experiencing now. Phillips has an article in the May issue of Harper's Magazine outlining the arguments from his new book.
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You're trying to imply cause and effect which doesn't exist. The TOTAL Federal Debt today is under $10 trillion, so clearly the entire amount of federal debt is only 20% of your $49 trillion number. The rest, is state, local govt, business, private debt, etc, which Reagan had no control over. I'd also point out that it had been steadily rising at about the same rate during the Clinton years and both Bush presidencies, so try to turn to link it to Reagan?
And while I would agree that there is some valid concern over debt levels in the economy, why do you always take things in the most negative view possible? Should total debt today be what it was in 1981? Of course not. The economy today is much larger than it was then and rising debt goes hand in hand with growth.
 Was it Bernanke who suggested we could avoid a repeat of

Virtually every reconomist will tell you that it's a good thing to have a central bank that can adjust liquidity to prevent a depression or inflation. Have they not done an excellent job of it, except during the Great Depression, when they did not do the right thing and add liquidity? What is your solution?

Which makes no sense, because of course the FED would never pay off all public and private debt.

Which is false.. The SS cost of living increases are based on the CPI, which includes food, energy and housing. The author may be arguing that he doesn't like the WAY they are tracked, but that is very different than claiming they aren't part of the inflation calculation. I hope that is the case, or else you wasted money, because the author's an idiot.

Again, this is looking for either a negative or some kind of conspiracy angle in everything you look at. The call on recession is made by a private, non-profit group that has been doing it for decades. They use a variety of indicators, some of which obviously have to be adjusted for inflation to be valid, and some, like employment, that do not. And I'd rather leave it to them and go with their official call, which continues to be made the same way as it has been, rather than going with what you think "seems" to be going on.

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Kevin Phillips is a widely read and highly respected author of non fiction. His most recent bestseller was "American Theocracy." He wrote the best selling "An American Dynasty" about the Bush family. He first came to be known nationally as a speech writer and strategist in the Nixon White House. He is sometimes described as "Nixon's Karl Rove."
He states in his article in Harper's that this is not a conspiracy concept. Politicians of both parties have seen it to be in their best interest to overestimate growth and underestimate inflation, so there has been a gradual loss of integrity which he calls "POLLYANNA CREEP" of our economic indicators to the point where international financial analysts are on the verge of completely losing confidence in them, which could have serious negative consequences, like loss of investment and movement away from the dollar as a reserve currency.
You can find the Harper's article here: http://www.owensriverdemocrats.org /
Scroll down and look for "Numbers Racket: Why the Economy Is Worse than We Know"

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